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New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, on December 29, 2018, and dedicated the campus of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Varanasi, to the nation. He visited various laboratories of the institute. At the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul, the Prime Minister visited the ‘One District, One Product (ODOP)’ Exhibition. He also launched a Comprehensive Pension Management Scheme.

Mentioning the various projects unveiled on December 29, the PM said they all have a common theme: Ease of Living and Ease of Doing Business. He described the Uttar Pradesh Government’s “One District, One Product” scheme as an extension of “Make in India.”

The Prime Minister said that in Uttar Pradesh, the small and medium sector enterprises have been a part of traditions. In this context, he mentioned the carpet industry of Bhadohi, the sports goods industry of Meerut, and the silk industry of Varanasi, among others. He described Varanasi and Poorvanchal as a hub of handicrafts and art.

The Prime Minister said 10 products of Varanasi and nearby regions have received Geographical Indication tags. He said the ‘One District, One Product’ scheme will convert these expressions of art into profitable business, by ensuring good machines, training and marketing support. He said that he has been informed that loans worth Rs 2,000 crore are likely to be disbursed during this event.

The Prime Minister said that the Union Government has worked to make the lives of common people better and to promote ease of doing business. He said that SAMPANN – the System for Authority and Management of Pension – launched on December 29 will greatly facilitate pensioners of the telecom department and help in timely disbursement of pension.

The Prime Minister said the Union Government is using technology to improve ease of living and greater ease of access to citizen-centric services. He said India Post Payments Bank is being used to expand banking services through post offices. He said a network of over 3 lakh Common Service Centres is helping to provide a range of services, digitally, to the people in rural areas. He said over one lakh Panchayats in the country are now connected via broadband.

He said the Digital India, apart from facilitating people, is also bringing in transparency in government working and curbing corruption. In this context, he mentioned the Government e-Marketplace or GeM. He said GeM will be of immense use for MSMEs and said the Union Government is committed to empowering MSMEs. By making access to credit easier for MSMEs, ease of doing business is also being ensured. He said a big effort is underway to provide modern amenities and promote industry in eastern India through LNG. One benefit of this is cooking gas, which is now becoming available to thousands of homes in Varanasi, he added.

Referring to the International Rice Research Institute campus in Varanasi, he said this Centre is a result of our efforts to make agriculture more profitable using technology. He said that the transformation of Kashi is now becoming visible. He reiterated that the Union Government is committed to cleaning the River Ganga. The PM expressed confidence that the upcoming Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, later this month in Varanasi, would be a success, according to a PIB release.



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